Addiction in the USA is a health crisis that is reaching epidemic proportions. Recent studies show that One in Seven American citizens will misuse or abuse illegal drugs or alcohol in their lifetimes. This statistic is all the more shocking when you consider the fact that nearly 80 people die every day as a result of an accidental drug overdose. That is more than 29,000 a year. When you take into account that many of these deaths were preceded by a lifetime of broken families, criminality in order to feed their habits and antisocial behavior, the implications of a simple statistic are increased tenfold.
The latest statistics from the US Federal Bureau of Prisons states that a stunning 46% of all prison sentences in the country are drug related. To put that in perspective with other offences, robbery, a crime that most people in the US would consider the biggest threat to either themselves or their property, accounted for just 3.8% of sentences handed down last year. Homicides, assaults and kidnappings accounted for 3.2%.
Before the infamous “War On Drugs” by the Reagan administration in the 1980s, the US prison population had ranged from between 150,000- 200,000 inmates since 1925. After this declaration of war, the prison population increased to 1.5 Million in 2010. In 2010 it cost the US taxpayer $31,000 per inmate per year to keep them incarcerated. The national cost was estimated to be 50 Billion dollars.
Along with the rising epidemic of drug addiction came something else: A demand for treatment centers and addiction management drugs and programs. As soon as companies realized that they could charge addiction treatment to peoples HMO’s, addiction treatment became big business in the US. There are today 15,000 addiction treatment centers in the US and the industry is worth more than $40 billion dollars per year.
Any industry of this size is obviously open to abuse from Illegal or spurious addiction clinics and treatment centers. They exist because there is a constant demand from sick, vulnerable and desperate people who make very easy targets for con men and fraudsters offering guaranteed results for illegal and unlicensed treatments. These companies are often backed financially by seemingly reputable real estate or tech companies who operate clinics out of Mexico.
Jonathan Dardashti is one of these scammers. The Dardashti scam is run by him and his father, David, using a network of small businesses like the American Debt Fighters Association or Duval Holdings in Miami, FL. to support and move money in and out of a variety of fake addiction clinics in Cancun, Mexico.
Using unlicensed and unregulated Psychedelic drugs and with no medical certification, The Dardashti scam addiction clinics are regularly closed down by the Mexican Authorities, only to open again under a new name a few weeks later. It is an easy way to get money from sick people who either cannot afford, or cannot go to clinics in their home country.
While America battles to contend with an opiate addiction crisis that may represent the biggest threat to American healthcare in a generation, there will always be men like Jonathan Dardashti who are willing to exploit the tragedy for their own profit.